Born and raised in New York City, Skaggs has always made her living in the visual arts. She began her career in the early seventies as one of the first women to operate a camera for ABC and CBS television networks. Her work in news, sports, and day and nighttime TV ranged from shooting the beauty shots from the Goodyear blimp for Super Bowl VII to the Carter/Ford presidential conventions to variety shows such as Sonny & Cher.
The artist’s first fine art collection was exhibited in the early eighties at the then small Santa Monica Museum of Art and featured five of her Erté-inspired, hand-cast porcelain marionettes. The success of this show led to a position as Display Director for the Right Bank Shoe Co. on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. “The imaginative quality of those windows displays drew enough attention that I was offered an art director position for MTV videos,” said Skaggs. “The first one I designed was for the rock group, Berlins’ Now It’s my Turn.”
It was during this period that Skaggs had the opportunity to study privately with third-generation English master painter, Gilbert Batty. “I studied with him every week for several years,” says Skaggs. “Mr. Batty gave me the tools and the focus to develop my unique signature as a painter.”
Living in Hawaii for the last twenty-one years, Skaggs latest paintings resemble carvings and textiles that live in the future but with roots firmly grounded in the distant past, thus combining the ancient with the modern. Much has transpired since she debuted her new work in a small Hilo, Hawaii, restaurant four years ago. Her paintings can be found in the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii, The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Maui, the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center and Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, Marriott Resort in Kauai and in private collections around the world. Recently, Skaggs was commissioned to create a large triptych for the entry corridor to the new In-Yó Cafe at Trump International Hotel and Tower in Waikiki.
“When you create a hundred or so paintings, a lot happens in between,” Skaggs laughs. “You learn a lot. It takes time. Geometry is the skeleton. The play of light, symmetry of pattern, distinctive ancient cultures, a spiritual quality, the sensual and sensory--these are the beauties of God. These are my patina prayers.”